, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 17 – Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa has underscored the east African country’s significance being its largest trading partner.
Ambassador Liu who spoke Friday during a reception to mark the country’s 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China said Kenya is now the centre of Chinese media in Africa, and one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists.’
“China and Kenya are keen on investing strategic and long-term significance in bilateral relations,” the ambassador said, at a colourful ceremony held at the embassy in Nairobi, and which was attended by local and international dignitaries–including Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro.
The envoy said pragmatic cooperation has enabled China and Kenya to achieve new breakthroughs, citing the massive investments in the country funded by the Chinese government – including – the Standard Gauge Railway under construction from Mombasa to Nairobi.
In 2015, bilateral volume between the two countries reached a new high of USD6 billion, twice as much as that of 2013.
“China has become Kenya’s largest trading partner, investor and contractor,” Ambassador Liu said. China has now started cooperation on direct currency exchange with Kenya.
New statistics show that China and Africa have signed over 243 cooperation agreements valued at USD50.7 billion since the Africa-China summit was held in South Africa Beijing.
Besides trade, the two countries are cooperating on regional peace and security.
“China and Kenya have maintained close communication and cooperation in fields of anti-terrorism, counter-piracy, regional peacekeeping missions, reform of UN Security Council and climate change,” Ambassador Liu said.
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro described China as a “true friend.”
“For the past 53 years, relations between the two countries have blossomed and benefits are visible. These ties have expanded over the years and in the process brought the two governments and people’s closer,” he said.